ONLY ON 3: Developer says he can build ballpark for less

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Submitted: Tue, 07/10/2012 - 9:30pm
Updated: Tue, 07/10/2012 - 11:00pm

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Tonight Wilmington City Council will discuss a bond referendum of up to $42 million to build a ballpark. But one developer says he can build it for much less.

“I think it could be done for a lot less,” Chuck Schoninger said. “I mean without a doubt.”

Schoninger owns land along the Wilmington riverfront near PPD. It’s property he has been pitching to build a ballpark on for years.

He believes that if the stadium doesn’t include all the bells and whistles, like state of the art locker rooms and extra seating, the price could be dramatically reduced.

“We feel like for a 3,500 hard seat stadium, you’re somewhere what we call bricks and sticks in the $20 to $25 million range,” Schoninger said.

He predicts with the extra costs, it could be completed for about $30 million.

In the end, Schoninger believes the city will make the best decision on how much to spend on the ballpark.

“I think they absolutely feel like it could be done for a lot less, and I think that’s really what the conversation about where they’re trying to drive that final number is part of that conversation,” he said.

Tonight City Council will start discussing the bond referendum and deciding when to hold the public hearings. That meeting starts at 6:30.


  • Guest2020 says:

    The only good decision on how much the city should spend on the ballpark is absolute ZERO.

  • guesty says:

    But he won’t do that because he doesn’t want to risk his own money.

  • OhTheThingsIKnow says:

    Maybe Mr Schoninger can enter into his own agreement with Mandalay/Braves and he can build this with his own money and he can rent it to the Braves. I won’t begrudge him a single penny of the ENORMOUS profits he is sure to realize.

  • MrT says:

    was “The Deals Dead” ? are you still singing that song?

  • 1981duke says:

    We want to see the fine print,specifics.

  • leon pagr says:

    community should be thinking beyond cost, promoting stadium for high school baseball game tiurnaments local, regional, and maybe college,festival evebts, bands etc.getting people into our downtown for a good reason.

  • Commonsensenotcommontoday says:

    …until the bills come due.

  • Guest5654 says:

    Yours is actually a good comment and has some validity. I just do not see single a ball as such a great draw for the area. I have been to several major league parks and this will not compare in any way. I will take my 9 year old son just for the experience but it will not be like walking into Yankee stadium when I was 9 thats for sure.

  • Mky Jct Voter says:

    zilch, noda, nuthin, zero- fix the frickin roads and sewer lines. Quit rippin off the taxpayers who are over taxed already. That white elephant civic center is going to have to be paid for. Don’t need need another monument for the mayor.

  • Guester says:

    you don’t get a vote on this. you aren’t a city resident.

  • eGuest says:

    The City has access to 65 acres of land right off Independence Blvd. that belongs to them. Why can’t they build it there talk about cost cut.Also with that much land plenty of free parking easy in and easy out. So what your answer to that.

  • Ken says:

    “I can build it for a lot less.” That’s what they all say until after they start the construction. I have an idea of how to build it for 42 million without any increased debt to the city of Wilmington. Build it somewhere else. We have items on our agenda that are of greater importance than a playing field for the Atlanta Braves. Now don’t get me wrong because I am a Die Hard Braves Fan from the 1960’s but I also believe that if the Braves organization wants to play ball in Wilmington, they should pay for it. You see, if they pay for it then they are more likely to remain here at least until they have recouped their investment and made a profit, however if we pay for it and some years down the road they leave Wilmington, we will still have the bond debt and if we can’t have a team come in on the heels of the Braves leaving OUR stadium may sit for a period of time. it could fall into disrepair and then we would have to float another bond to make major repairs to it because if it is not being used government will not spend money on it to keep it up. Look at the old county building right now on Chestnut street. After the water damage was done to the building and government moved out maintenance to the building went to zero or near zero and now look at what is going to have to be spent to bring it back up to standard. This is what governments do. Not using it, spend no money on it. Do we want this situation with a vacant stadium. Think about it people. I’m sure the Braves organization is going to paint a bed of roses but what we must remember is that those roses also come with thorns. Try laying on that bed for 20 or 30 years of debt service.

  • Guest111 says:

    . . . and I assume this gentleman wants the city to buy the land from him and let him build the stadium. Wow win win situation for him. Does the lower price INCLUDE THE COST OF THE LAND?? hmmm?

  • Guest211 says:


  • Guest Reply says:

    Maybe he is not a city resident…but he is 100% correct about more important issues that need attention. Our economy is in the state its in due to neglect of more important matters then new toys. How much will it cost to maintain this facility over the years? No…not zero dollars which is what is going towards our roads…police and fire dept’s for up to date equipment, etc.
    Its all about new toys in this city that we can do without. Enhance Legion Stadium for less and move on if baseball is needed that bad.

  • Guest2020 says:

    Whether or not he gets a vote, his opinions still counts. The last time I checked you didn’t have to be eligible to vote on a matter in order to voice your opinion on said matter.

  • 1981duke says:

    Bids welcomed!

  • 1981duke says:

    What demographics can support!

  • SurfCityTom says:

    is a pretty big range. If that is true construction costs, and does not include land acquisition cost, that’s a pretty broad range.

    Any competent general contractor could come up with a much tighter cost estimate.

    Of course, question number 1 — is he a licensed general contractor?

    Question number 2 — who is the we he refers to when he says we can build for much less?

    I guess the river front land owner will say about anything to get the city to take his land albatross off his hands.

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